Will Smith stars as “Hancock,” a reluctant anti-hero with numerous abilities, including super strength and flight, and who spends most of his time either drinking or wallowing in self pity…often both at the same time. Directed by Peter Berg, and written by Vince Gilligan and Vincent Ngo, this sometimes action movie, sometimes sloppy drama left much to be desired.
In Los Angeles, Hancock is both hero and menace to the city, often destroying as much city property as the criminals he is attempting to apprehend. He is a loner, mostly due to his poor attitude, hobo appearance, and massive drinking problem. He scoffs at society for ridiculing him for damages, and for demanding he be held responsible. On one fateful day, Hancock rescues Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), who is a failed idealist and who decides to become Hancock’s agent and to help clean up his image in return for being rescued. Embrey’s wife (Charlize Theron) is reluctant of Hancock and soon reveals she knows more about him than she is letting on.
In the wake of so many blockbuster hits out of the comic book realm in the past decade, its only natural that we begin to see new creations such as this. And in concept, a superman-like hero played by Will Smith sounds like a can’t miss idea. However, it really does miss. Often, and almost from the beginning. While Act One of the film has potential, even if Smith plays Hancock so unlikably, Acts two and (especially) Act three fall apart quickly, relying on predictable plot twists, and then finally unpredictable, yet truly awful ones in the final half-hour.
What is clear is that the studio and writers felt like attempting to make there own superhero, complete with his own mythology and backstory, and basically poorly borrowed from several sources to do so. They also obviously felt that Smith’s unilateral appeal would cancel out the strong unlikableness of the Hancock character…they were wrong. A poorly acted, poorly written and poorly directed film is all that is left at the end of the day. One can only hope Hancock doesn’t receive any more adventures after this disaster of a summer movie.